- The Wonthella Bowling Club took centre stage of the Batavia Bowling League with the venue hosting the 2018/19 finals series. Sides from Wonthella, Geraldton and Mullewa competed over the two days on the Rad Anderson prepared playing surface that was running a smooth 15 seconds and the equal to any in state.
The grand final in division one Geraldton Blue played the home based Wonthella Green while the second division saw the top two finishers in the regular season reach the ultimate encounter. Both encounters ending in thrilling finishes and fitting ends to the BBL season
A repeat of the 2018 finals saw Geraldton Blue and Wonthella Gold produce back to back premierships, both sides looked unlikely victors at the half way stage with defects of twenty shots. The come from behind victories kept the large crowd on the edge right to the finish with results not secured until the last bowl of the day in both finals.
The Blues and leagues most consistent rink of Shane Guidice-Nairn, Lawrence Brooks, Brad Criddle and Barry Chester finished the season off with a solid 23/16 win over Gary Preston, Kerry Easton, Paul Walton and Paul Williamson, the game see sawing until the last few ends.
Joe Criddle, Mike Ford, Ian Criddle and Craig Forrester trialled 9/1 and then 16/8 during their clash with Mike Walton, Eddie Dodd, Judd McCall and Gary Clarke to eventually take the encounter 21/16 and set the scene for a thrilling finish.
Wonthella Green ’s premier rink of Tony O’Brien, Bill Alford, Brian Thomas and Ian Parke finished the season off with a excellent 25/15 result against Joe Cukela, Trevor Smythe, Wes Jones and Bill Johnson, the final six ends seeing shots split and in the end a two shot premiership result and successive titles to the Geraldton squad.
The second division title went to Wonthella Gold who trailed all match, The side took the lead in the second last end with the match on the edge until the last roll of the day.
The telling 31/13 victory by Kim North, John Craig, Tom Wedgewood and Ron McCall over Bernie Morgan, Colin Sherman, Mike Kendrick and Andrew Mason would in the end be enough to secure the back to back result.
The leagues best performing side of 2018/19, John Rann, Neil McIlwaine, Warwick Glennister and Bill Robartson defeated Joe Beaver, Trevor Wedgewood, Ray Lucas and John Murdoch 28/13 with the result falling three shot short of the mark but ending a remarkable season that saw the quartet lose just three matches of the twenty played.
The highlight of day one was the appearance of the Mullewa club for the first time in three decades play finals. While the side fell ten shots short of Wonthella Green in the end they signs are good for the Saints who trained hard all season to gain the reward. The crowd was massive with strong support for Mullewa the highlight.
Minor premiers Geraldton Gold fell to the BBL top of the table hoodoo, the group dropping the second semi to eventual winners Geraldton Blue and preliminary against Wonthella Green to finish the season a creditable but somewhat disappointing third.
14th Mar 19
- The Mullewa Bowling Club have officially ended the Batavia Bowling Leagues longest finals drought (31 years) following the last round victory against Geraldton Blue of the 2019 pennant season to storm into third position and contention at the completion of the seasons home and away fixtures.
Top of the table Geraldton Gold recorded there sixth 6/0 win of the season with a strong pre finals hit-out against Northampton, the side has suffered defeat just four times and look the side to roll ahead of this weekends finals series at the Wonthella Bowling Club.
Wonthella Green drop to fourth following their shock and disappointing 24 shot 6/0 defeat by Denison Blue and should be very grateful to sister side Wonthella Maroon who defeated Geraldton Red 4/2 (46/45) in the seasons best cliff hanger. The Red’s where positioned in the four with just one bowl to play. After a lengthy discussion with his team the Maroons Kim Cross played a well weighted bowl to removed the Red’s shot bowl to claim the rink win and the aggregate with the result perhaps more importantly allowing sister side Green to retain a finals position.
Thirty one years has passed since the Mullewa Bowls Club have had to wait, 1988 was the last time the Saints participated in finals action with the club, claiming the first and only flag in their long history.
The Saints victorious team included the likes of David Armstrong, who went on to represent WA along with then club captain Trevor Harkin, Malcolm Krolic, Gary McCormack and Paddy Barden sharing the skippers positions with long time local legends Ray Bone, Ken Keeffe, Jim Crudeli, Malcolm Steele and Sam Perrotina.
The 2019 side sees Lloyd Morgan, Craig Walker and Vince Knight holding the key skippers spots during the 2018/19 standout season.
State junior Aiden McAuliffe continues his consistent season with John Peet and Nino Messina solid in the lead role. The seconds include much quality with life member and club legend Murray Watt arguable the best along with Kevin Jones, both having skipped on occasions this season so the form line is strong, add Steve Aarts and the side is more than capable. The talent continues with WAFL and GNFL legends John Sims and Mick Thompson joining the talented Paul Johnson in the pivotal third position.
The dedicated Saints train every Thursday at the Geraldton Bowling Club with a regular turnout of 15 plus attending. The road to finals has been long but you can guarantee that the squad have deserved the position and the support will be wide spread as they attempt to gain the clubs second premiership.
The Wonthella venue this Saturday afternoon will see Mullewa take on the home based Wonthella Green in the first semi final.
The Saints although finishing third on the table will start slight underdogs despite the strong result last weekend. The home track a distinct advantage for the Green machine however the shellacking haded out last week by Denison will add to the Saints historic run.
The second semi sees Geraldton Gold starting as firm favourites over Geraldton Blue, the two have traded the tables top position since the Christmas resumption however the from line rates the Gold’s clearly the best of 2018/19. The semi finals start at 2pm this Saturday afternoon with the preliminary match Sunday morning at 9am with the seasons decider fixtured for 2pm at the Wonthella Bowling Club
9th Mar 19
- Countryweek has finished for another year, and what an amazing week by Justin Smith to get to the grand final in all 3 disciplines, winning 2 of them including the coveted singles title for the 2nd year in a row. A rough calculation is that he has probably played about 1500 bowls in the 8 days of competition, including the perfect game in the quarter final against Chalwell from Dudley Park 21-0 in 6 ends. Whilst I didn't see the final of the pairs or fours, the singles final against Russell Bates was a superb display of draw bowling by both players. Bates also making the final of the fours and the Round of 16 in the pairs to also have a very good week.
Smith won the pairs earlier in the day with his brother Aaron but were trumped in the final of the fours losing to the Dudley Park team of Brad Ball, Ben Garrett, Dave Appleton and Russell Bates. The Smith brothers were joined by Dad Haydn and regular Phil Jones, of course those 2 winning the state pairs this year.
Well done to Bassendean for hosting the finals, Bowls WA for staging and running the event as smoothly as possible, it makes it a long day when 1 player has got to all 3 of the finals but it all clicked along well and to all the Country bowlers for the support of this. Surely it is the hardest competition in the state to win, 168 sections in the singles alone say enough about the support the country bowlers give.
Full results can be found by clicking on the link below
1st Mar 19
- Keep abreast of all the Countryweek scores by clicking the link here
ZONES ROUND ROBIN 2019 - Emu Point 2nd & 3rd Feb
The 2019 WA Country Interzone Championship has been run and won. The South West Zone prevailed with the winner decided on the final end in their last game against the Eastern Zone.
The win, completed a hat trick of titles for South West with the Shield being accepted by an emotional South West Zone President Bob Plater.(pictured)
Day one saw cold and blustery conditions greet bowlers at the Emu Point club. Southern Zone President Wayne (Buck) Rodgers welcomed officials, players and also Roger Barnes (WA State Men’s Chair of Selectors) and Tony Hockey (State Men’s Coach) who were in attendance. Tournament Director Margie Rance also addressed players and outlined the conditions of play.
The Eastern Zone took the early championship advantage with big wins on Saturday against Southern Zone 122 shots to 79 (4 rinks) in the morning and Northern Zone in the afternoon 110 shots to 84 (3 rinks). The Hayden Smith led rink and the Geoff Main side winning both their games handsomely.
The South West Zone started well beating Northern comfortably 116 shots to 70 (4 rinks) set up by an impressive 32-6 shot win by Matt Pennington and his team over Joe Criddle. However, the were defeated by a determined Southern Zone 104 shots to 100 (3 rinks) in the afternoon. Matty Mitchell and his side won 4 of their last 5 ends against Brad Ball to secure the aggregate. The win by Southern kept their title hopes alive and ensured an exciting day two.
On Sunday the Southern Zone narrowly defeated a regrouped Northern Zone 89 shots to 86 (2 rinks). Wins to John Sharp and Matty Mitchell secured the aggregate despite Northern claiming the three other rink wins.
The South West team were looking for 4 rink wins or 3 rink wins and shots up to overtake Eastern in the final game. Eastern Zone lead South West early with Hayden Smiths side getting away to a big lead early on against Pennington. South West rallied late with Ball picking up good numbers against Bill Fraser. With 3 rink wins looking likely, Mark Simpson and side fought hard to level the scores with one end to play against Geoff Main, they actually held game and the important fourth rink point. However, Eastern skipper Main with his last bowl played weight brilliantly to remove shot bowl and claim the important rink win.
On the next rink and with shots up now critical South West’s Gary Keep who was down 6 shots at the head kept his cool and with his last bowl drew second shot to limit the damage and secure the rink.
That left Bill Fraser and Ball’s rinks to decide the winning zone over the final 3 ends. Fraser who drove accurately throughout the game often saving big numbers, removed the South West shot bowl on the second last end to creep closer. Fraser also drew a second counter on the last end which had the mathematicians working overtime. With his final bowl Ball drove powerfully to sink the jack in the ditch and come to rest next to it for shot and to finish off a wonderful game.
When the dust settled three Zones; Southern, Eastern and South West had all finished on 2 wins and 4 points. Eastern and South West were level on 9 rink wins with South West narrowly winning by a handful of shots.
A very strong Country All Star side was then announced to challenge the State squad later this month. Congratulations to those players selected. Bowlers then departed in different directions to return home.
Congratulations also goes to country players Warren Holt (Wagin), Matty Mitchell (Emu Point) and Russell Bates (Dudley Park) on their selection in the final state squad of 16 players. We wish them well in their endeavours to be selected in the final side of 12.
Finally, a special mention must go to South West’s heroic Skipper Robbie Tiller. He returned to Mandurah on Saturday night after two games in Albany to celebrate and honour a family commitment and was back by 8am Sunday to play bowls. A 900km return trip.
Thankyou goes to the Southern Zone and Emu Point Club for hosting this year’s event and all the volunteers. Next year’s Interzone championship will be held in Kalgoorlie.
M Simpson, M Ayres, G Keep, R Bates
H Smith, P Jones, G Main, R Moselle
J Sharp, M France, R Plant, R Schinzig
J Smith, M Pennington, C Russell, G Watson
P Manning, B King, T O'Brien, S O'Brien
R Tiller, B Ball, C Schell, J Cowie
The 2019 WA Interzone Country Championship will be held at the picturesque Emu Point Bowling Club in Albany on the 2nd and 3rd of February. Albany was recently voted the second best holiday destination in Australia to visit and offers so many attractions to visiting players. If time permits players should take time to explore the National Anzac centre, or natural attractions like The Gap and Natural Bridge.
The Emu Point Bowling club has two Evergreen Synthetic greens that were opened in late 2017. For players staying around Emu Point there is a café near the jetty, restaurants at nearby Middleton Beach or those venturing into town check out the popular watering hole Due South near Princes Royal Harbour.
All four Country zones can claim strong chances to this year's title after such a close event last year in Dalwallinu. After two rounds all four zones were in contention. Eventual winners last year were the South West Zone.
The Southern Zone could well be considered favourite's on their home greens this year with high profile recruits in current and former State representatives Matty Mitchell and John Sharp.
Forming a formidable back end is multiple WA state champion and 179 state game representative, John Goddard. The only question mark here is how much support such talent can receive from their front end players. The tiny Moodiarrup club will be represented by Richard Shinzig and Geoff Hosking. Notable absentees this year include Rosenthal Medallist Warren Holt and Mark Wunnenburg.
The South West Zone, looking to go back to back this year welcome the likes of former UK representative Robbie Tiller alongside established ex Perth Metro stars in Matty Ayres and Brad Ball.
Russ Bates and Scott O’Brien who both stared in the Everest of Bowls this year will form a formidable front end to this year's team. This side has real depth with Mark Simpson and the Pennington brothers. Making his debut is exciting youngster Mitch Walker from Donnybrook. On the sidelines this year or unavailable are James Webster, Ben Garrett, Wings Evans, and Keith Guelfi.
The Northern Zone will battle car lag as they manage one of the longest road trips for a game of bowls. Some players may choose the drive then fly option with the Rex Airlines flight on Friday for $180 flying Perth to Albany. With Country Week titles aplenty from the likes of Bradley King, Joe Criddle, and Phil Manning, they will prove very hard to beat. An all-round strong side that also includes Kevin Robartson, Wes Benton and in form players Tony O'Brien representing Wonthella and Matthew Whitely from Bindoon. Those unavailable or unlucky this year include Shane Giudice-Nairn, Dan Jolly and Glen Jones.
The Eastern Zone side looks extremely competitive and will look to challenge strongly for the title. With recently crowned State Pairs champions in Hayden Smith and Phil Jones and current Country Week singles champ Justin Smith and former winner Matty France, anything is possible. In support they have the experience of Maurie Crameri and Bill Fraser and young talent in Michael Curry and Greg Vaughan from Narembeen. Congratulations on their selection goes to Geoff Watson and Richard Cowcher from the Boulder Bowling club. Some of the talent unavailable or not making the trip include Aaron Smith, Mark Szczecinski, Silky Wilkins and Gary Walker.
In the words of election analyst Antony Green this is 'too close to call'!
Good Bowling and comradery is extended to all 80 participants. May the best performed Zone win and pending results and selection one can expect a very strong Country All Star representative side this year. The Country All Stars v WA State team game will again be held at Osborne Park Bowling club on Thursday night 28th of February prior to Country Week. The game should provide a good hit out as the WA state side prepare to compete this year in NSW in early April.
M Simpson, M Ayres, F Ditri, S O'Brien
B Ball, D Appleton, W Coyle, R Bates
R Tiller, N Brierly, A Drayton, M Walker
G Keep, W Hyatt, S Pennington, R Mosele
M Pennington, R Deal, B Gearing, G Twist
J Goddard, J Fiegert, C Russell, J Davey
D Cliff, G Smith, B Duff, B Crisp
J Sharp, K MacGregor, R Dithcburn, J Flavel
M Mitchell, J Davidson, R Plant, R Schinzig
M Boxall, G Hosking, K Heberle, J Cowie
H Smith, P Jones, A Walker, G Watson
J Smith, D Thompson, R Griffiths, G Archer
W Fraser, A Ryan, G Vaughan, R Cowcher
G Main, M France, C Shell, W Burton
M Crameri, M Curry, M Lancaster, N Miguel
B King, A Goulden, W Sivyer, P Leeson
J Criddle, K Robartson, J Trotter, M Thompson
A Carlton, M Whitely, G Beck, B Eather
M Fox, W Benton, P Walsh, D Patton
P Manning, T O'Brien, R Humfrey, B Preston
INTER LEAGUE ROUND ROBIN 2019
EASTERN (played at Manning)
P Fleay, K Wolfenden, D Kelly, B Parker
C Schell, D Hudson, B Jones, K Carr
J Smith, M Nottle, P Gerdtz, C Archer
H Smith, P Jones, M Siegert, B Walsh
P Smith, D Miguel, G Nicol, A Majdid
M Lancaster, W Maher, G Whyte, N Miguel
A Smith, B Smith, L Miguel, B Wegner
A Ryan, L Herbert, T O'Connell, S Lange
M Crameri, C Hayes, A Mackin, C Squiers
G Main, B Taylor, T Cosgrove, W Button
W Fraser, R Wheeldon, A Paron, P Bradley
D Thomson, R Griffiths, G Cox, H Dixon
B Alp, M Szczecnski, S Cooper, V Bolt
M France, D Postans, C Crombie, D Butler
M Currie, J Currie, S Crees, E Tenardi
G Vaughan, S Sloan, A Walker, J Shepherd
SOUTHERN (played at Esperance 11-13th Jan)
UPPER GREAT SOUTHERN
SOUTH CENTRAL ARUNGA
SOUTH EAST COASTAL
Geoff Hosking, Graeme Jose, Stephen Hughes, Richard Schinzig
Murray Boxall, Ron Lloyd, Mick Cowie, John Flavell
Warren Holt, Geoff Holmes, Chris French, Jarved Cowie
Mark Wunnenberg, Graeme Prowse, Mark Schinzig, Robert Marinoni
LOWER GREAT SOUTHERN
J Sharp, D Wright, H Waddell, J Robertson
M Mitchell, A Ashworth, R Plant, P Garbellini
J Davidson, D King, J Meyers, M Pooley
F Holt, K MacGregor, R Nichols, T Wright
B King, G Ellis, M Grigsby, P Leeson
T O'Brien, S Palmer, J Cukela, J Lucas
C O'Brien, S Guidice-Nairn, K Robartson, M Thompson
J Criddle, M Ford, I Cliff, T Reudavey
B Wright, A Duane, P Johnson, M McKenzie
G Preston, A French, P Reudavey, K Exten
G Haliday, K Trotter, R Roberts, B Preston
I Carlshausen, K Easton, N Exten, N Bunter
CENTRAL WEST COASTAL
SOUTH WESTERN (played at Donnybrook 12-13th January 2019)
R Tiller, G Crisp, T Hyatt, J O'Brien
B Ball, D Appleton, B Hett, R Bates
K Guelfi, W Hyatt, S Unsworth, A Grieves
M Simpson, M Ayres, G Farmer, S O'Brien
N Brierley, G Needs, J Solly, K Edwards